Thursday, December 27, 2012

Everglades Wintry Weather

As winter settles in to the north we have been very lucky here in the Everglades with mostly warmer and sunny weather so far this year. There have have been a couple of cooler days with a few cold fronts but they have been short lived.
For the most part the fishing has been very good and I've had some nice catches. Over the last week I fishing both the bay area and a couple of different places up in the backcountry and have caught some very nice fish. All the regular species are around including snook, redfish and trout. Finding larger snook has been a little challenging which because of the relatively warmer weather they still can be found out in more open waters along with some who are migrating to their winter homes up in the warmer backwaters.
Redfish and trout are here in numbers while there are mostly smaller reds being seen and caught, a larger one may be caught in the mix.
Trout as I said are here in numbers and you won't have to paddle far to find and catch them.
Some other catches around the area have been Pompano, Mackerel and Tripletail.
Oh, and of course juvenile tarpon which have been fun catching with the fly rod!

A very nice backcountry snook

and a nice 30"+ Redfish

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Excitement in The Everglades

A kind of rare time out on the water in the Everglades in the winter we were blessed with  calm waters for a couple of days. Glass calm and almost gin clear waters made for some good site fishing but also made for some spooky fish. Over the course of a couple of days I managed to catch a few nice fish. 

The Redfish have taken on some real pretty darker red and bronze colors. I caught a few from rat sized reds up to a couple a bit larger up to around 26" over the last week. 

Our winter fishery is almost in full swing and there are many sea trout around and pretty much a guarantee catch when fishing the area waters right now. Many are a nice size such as this one around 24"

If you know where and when to go there are good chances of getting into some juvenile tarpon. It has been a lot of fun fishing for these guys with the fly rod. This is mostly all backcountry fishing although there is still a chance of hooking up with a (larger) tarpon in some of the deeper passes in the area.

There are snook just about everywhere I have fished lately even though most of the fish are smaller. It's great news for the future of the snook fishery where so many died in the freeze a couple of years ago. I'm hoping that the Florida FWC keeps the snook fishery as catch and release only for the foreseeable future. Oh, and there are a few larger snook around and if you should get lucky and hook up and catch one your mind will change quick as to your favorite fish to catch.


I have some more information on the upcoming kayak fishing tournament that will be coming to The Everglades on March 2nd. Rather than try to explain all the details of this new format for a tournament please check out the video and links below. Woody Callaway and John Grace with Native Watercraft are the masterminds of this new and exciting event. 


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Everglades Challenge's

As I previously talked a little about, we are in a time of transition here in the Everglades heading into the winter months. Of course there are some patterns (migrations) that the different fish species follow with the changing seasons but unlike most other places in Florida in this western area on the Everglades these patterns can be somewhat unpredictable at times, strong tides and the weather playing a large part in what happens. After putting your time in, fishing often over years in different places is when you will be able to somewhat predict when, where and what kind of fish will be around at any given time of the year. Even some of your best or so called "rock star" guides that fish these Everglades waters will tell you that when you believe you have it all figured out everything changes and you have to start all over again.
One advantage of using a kayak vs using a motorized boat for me over the years to fish many of the places in the Everglades has been the limited amount of area you can cover in one day in comparison to motor boats, you will concentrate on smaller areas usually within a reasonable distance of where you launched and then find and catch quality fish. Guides and people in general who use motor boats have a tendency to not concentrate for long in any one particular area before moving on to fish another. I know many guides that will go fifteen to even over thirty miles away to bring their clients to look for quality fish when these same fish can usually be caught near where they launched in Chokolskee or Everglades City. I guess if you are charging between four to six hundred dollars for a charter it's one way to try and justify it with you getting a nice long boat ride.    

This past week has been fairly windy with a few colder days which has made it a little tough to get to some of my fishing spots out and around the bay so I spent a few days in a couple different areas up in the backcountry. Most of these trips were all fly fishing and it was fun catching many small snook, baby and some nice size juvinile tarpon.

"DJ Dan Decibal" with one of the nice Tarpon's that he caught ! 

The other week I joined up with a group from ,a kayak fishing group from the Ft Myers area who wanted to come down to see and fish a little bit of the Everglades. There were around fourteen guys and we launched out of Chokoloskee. The weather turned out to be great and everyone caught fish including reds, trout, snook, and flounder. A few guys also got their inshore slam. It was a real nice day with great company and I hope to join up with them again one day soon on another one of their adventures. 

For those interested, a great new event will be happening here in the Everglades. There will be a new kayak fishing tournament happening the first week in March. It will be a new format and challenge for kayak fisherman which will put all participants on a more even playing field. I'll post details as I get them.